Sewing 101: How to Sew a Zigzag Stitch

The zigzag stitch is another common stitch used in sewing. It has a lot of variations and is used for different purposes. Learn how to sew by tinkering with your sewing machine and know more of the zigzag stitch’s power! Keep reading for the tutorial.

Learning how to sew a zigzag stitch is simple and easy. The length and width of the zigzags can also be adjusted. Compared to the single stitch, this stitch is sturdier.

Sewing 101 : How to Sew a Zigzag Stitch

Sturdy Stitch for the Extra Mile

Today we are going to learn how to sew a zigzag stitch. You might be wondering why anyone would want to use this kind of stitch when it’s mostly used for decorative purposes. Well, it’s actually a sturdy stitch that has a greater hold. I also use thid stitch to prevent fraying. I also find it useful when sewing appliques and buttons.

Step 1. Set up your sewing machine

Before we begin, we need to thread our sewing machine. Since we are just learning how to sew the zigzag stitch, we will select the average stitch width and length. You can check your sewing machine manual how to do this.

Step 2. Change the presser foot

There is a special presser foot for sewing zigzag stitch. Switch the straight stitch presser foot with this.  Then take the needle thread and put it underneath the presser foot and put both threads towards the back of the machine. We are now ready to zigzag stitch.


Step 3. Start Sewing


Now, take a piece of fabric and fold it in half. Let’s put it under the presser foot then clamp it down. Then we will use the 5/8ths of an inch seam guide on the right.  Sew an inch forward then press reverse to sew backward then sew forward again. Then, continue sewing forward. End your sewing with this method as well.


Jennifer from Workroom Social made a quick but informative video in Howcast on how to sew the zigzag stitch. check out her video down below:

Toy around with your sewing machine and learn how to sew different types of zigzag stitches. You can make your zigzag narrow or wide by changing the width. If you notice that your fabric gathers in a tunnel, use the pattern to the right of the zigzag which looks like a dotted zigzag. Use the zigzag stitch to finish the seams of your projects.


Sew much fabric…Sew little time! Need a little thread? Click here.


Like this? You will also like these:

25 More Sewing Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

Sewing Basics | The Must-Have Sewing Tools To Get Started

Get To Know Your Sewing Machine: Basic Parts and Functions


3 thoughts on “Sewing 101: How to Sew a Zigzag Stitch

    • Debbie Thompson says:

      I’m a sewing instructor. If you only have one zig zag stitch then that is the one you will use for edging, creative stitching, or for applique. You can make it different sizes for different purposes by adjusting your stitch length and stitch width. If your machine is set on zig zag and stitch width at 0 you will sew a straight stitch usually with the needle in a different position than if you selected the straight stitch. This may be how you get needle position to the left or to the right on your machine. The best thing to do to figure out your machine is to read the manual and make each stitch so you can see how they work, which foot needs to be used to create each stitch–etc. Save this stitch sampler and you will have a representative of the stitches to look at when you wonder what they will look like andif you want to use it. Don’t be afraid to check the settings for each stitch in the manual.

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